Keffer Hirschauer Indiana Law Firm Logo
Search
Close this search box.
Keffer Hirschauer Indiana Law Firm Logo
put short code to menu here

Share this Article

Share this Article >

Charged with your 4th DUI in Indiana?

Regardless of whether it’s your 1st or 4th DUI in Indiana, a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction can spell disaster for both your personal and professional life. However, let’s be clear, the penalties associated with a 4th DUI conviction are more serious than those of previous offenses and you will most likely be incarcerated for a period of time. In fact, under some circumstances, a conviction of this nature could result in a sentence of up to 12 years in prison and adjudication as a habitual traffic offender.

Given the seriousness of these potential outcomes, it’s vital that anyone charged with their 4th DUI in Indiana retain the services of a skilled and experienced Indiana drunk driving lawyer. The criminal defense law firm of Keffer Hirschauer LLP is led by two former Fatal Alcohol Crash Team (FACT) deputy prosecutors, Bradley Keffer and Tom F. Hirschauer III. As members of the National College of DUI Defense, they possess the experience and knowledge needed to minimize your potential penalties and protect your rights. To speak with an Indiana DUI defense attorney today, call 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.

Drunk Driving in Indiana

The Basics of DUI Law in Indiana

To prove that someone is driving under the influence (DUI) in Indiana, the State must show that the alleged offender operated a vehicle while having a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) that exceeds the legal limit for alcohol in Indiana or while having a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance (or its metabolite) in their blood. Per the laws on OWI’s in Indiana, the lowest level of this offense is a Class C misdemeanor.

To determine BAC, a law enforcement officer may ask the driver to take a breathalyzer. Following a positive breath test, the officer may then ask that the driver submits to a certified chemical test such as a blood test. Although a person can refuse a breathalyzer or similar portable breath test (PBT), and risk a license suspension, their sheer operation of a motor vehicle in Indiana constitutes implied consent to submit to a certified chemical test upon request by law enforcement.

If a person is convicted of Class C misdemeanor DUI for operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent, they’ll face one or more of the following potential penalties:

  • Incarceration for no more than 60 days
  • Probation for no more than two years
  • A fine up to $500
  • Payment of court costs and fees
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for up to two years
  • Random urine and drug screening
  • Mandatory substance abuse education and/or victim impact panel attendance

In addition, if the State can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the driver’s BAC was .15 percent or higher while operating a vehicle, or if their operation of a vehicle endangered someone, then the driver can be convicted of Class A misdemeanor DUI. While still a misdemeanor offense, the penalties for this conviction are more serious and could include:

  • Incarceration for no more than one year
  • Probation of no more than two years
  • A fine up to $5,000
  • Payment of court costs and fees
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for up to one year
  • Random urine and drug screening
  • Mandatory substance abuse education and/or victim impact panel attendance

The Seriousness of Your 4th DUI in Indiana

Not surprisingly, the penalties associated with a person’s 1st DUI in Indiana will pale in comparison to that of their 3rd DUI in Indiana, let alone their 4th DUI conviction. This is because prior DUI convictions have a significant impact on any future DUI charges and the penalties associated with a new conviction. In fact, someone who commits 4th DUI, within seven years of their previous conviction, will be charged a felony DUI in Indiana, under Indiana Code 9-30-5-3.

Potential Penalties

When someone commits their 4th DUI in Indiana, within seven years of their prior conviction, they will charged with a Level 6 felony offense. If convicted, they would face a sentence of between six months and 2.5 years in prison, probation of 2.5 years, a fine of up $10,000, and required payment of court costs and fees. However, this charge can be elevated to a Level 4 felony under some circumstances. If the person’s 3rd DUI resulted in serious bodily injury or death, or you’ve had a previous, unrelated DUI conviction within the past five years, you could face up to 12 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, and the required payment of court costs and fees.

Furthermore, if a person is convicted of a fourth DUI in Indiana (regardless of when the previous three occurred), they may be adjudicated as a habitual traffic offender and subjected to an extended sentence, due to the fact that you are now deemed a habitual vehicular substance offender (HVSO) under Indiana Code 9-30-15.5-2. This extended sentence must be at least one additional year in prison, but no more than eight additional years.

In addition, Indiana Code 9-30-5-15(b) states that anyone convicted of a 4th DUI in Indiana may face a handful of additional penalties, including:

  • 480 hours of community service
  • Minimum imprisonment of ten days with at least 48 hours served consecutively
  • Alcohol and/or drug abuse assessments and, if determined appropriate, required completion of a treatment program
  • Adjudication as a habitual traffic violator under Indiana Code 9-30-10, resulting in license suspension for a minimum of five years or as long as the rest of your life

Loss of Driving Privileges

A person who is convicted of their 4th DUI in Indiana will likely incur both criminal penalties AND administrative consequences, including the suspension of their Indiana driver’s license for at least one year or up to ten years. However, depending on the circumstances of the case at hand, as well as the person’s criminal and driving record, the offender may be eligible to apply for specialized driving privileges in Indiana.

Per Indiana Code 9-30-16-1, specialized driving privileges in Indiana can only be applied to a license suspension of a person who held a driver’s license at the time of a criminal conviction in which the operation of a motor vehicle was an element of the offense; a conviction for operating a vehicle or boat while intoxicated; or committed the infraction of exceeding the worksite speed limit for the second time in a single year. Although, some individuals are NOT eligible for specialized driving privileges, including:  

  • a person who has never been an Indiana resident 
  • a person who committed the offense of operation of a motor vehicle causing death 
  • a person whose suspension was a result of refusing a certified chemical test despite laws regarding implied consent in Indiana (unless granted under Indiana Code 9-30-6-8(d)
  • a person whose license or driving privileges have been revoked due to being found to be incompetent or unfit to operate a motor vehicle. 
  • a person whose license has been suspended for reckless driving or for failure to stop when a school bus is stopped and its arm is extended, 
  • a person who had previously been granted specialized driving privileges and has more than one conviction for violating a condition of these privileges, and the violation involved serious bodily injury or death, the offender would no longer be eligible for specialized driving privileges.  

Anyone currently holding a suspended Indiana driver’s license who is interested in applying for specialized driving privileges in Indiana should contact an experienced specialized driving privileges attorney. This will help ensure that no small mistakes are made when preparing or filing the petition, and ultimately, increase the petitioner’s chances of being able to get some of your driving privileges restored.

To speak with an attorney about the application process today, call 317-751-7186  or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. The Indianapolis attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP would be happy to help you try to reinstate some of your Indiana driving privileges as soon as possible.  

Collateral Consequences

In addition to all of the penalties mentioned already, a person convicted of their 4th DUI in Indiana will also have to carry the burden of having a felony conviction on their criminal record. This means they’ll have to be truthful about their DUIs when asked about your criminal history on housing, job, and professional license applications. They’ll also lose your right to own or possess firearms or ammunition. Thankfully, however, under most circumstances, Indiana expungement law provides a remedy for these hardships following a certain period of time.

Need to Speak with an Attorney About Your 4th DUI in Indiana?

Drunk driving is a serious crime and being convicted of your 4th DUI in Indiana can negatively impact both your freedom and your future. That’s why hiring an experienced and skilled Indiana DUI lawyer to help you get ahead of the case is vital to protecting your livelihood.

The criminal defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are led by two former deputy prosecutors, who now fight for the rights of Hoosiers and state visitors facing prosecution for DUIs and other criminal offenses. Our attorneys understand the ins and outs of Indiana’s drinking and driving laws and have crafted effective and dynamic defense strategies aimed at securing the best possible outcome for their clients. If you want an aggressive and results-oriented defender, contact our law firm today at 317-857-0160 or completing our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Summary
Charged with Your 4th DUI in Indiana?
Article Name
Charged with Your 4th DUI in Indiana?
Description
This article discusses what happens when you're charged with your 4th DUI in Indiana
Publisher Name
Keffer Hirschauer LLP

Topic Categories

More Topics